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TAP Express
Portugalia logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1988
Hubs Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport
Focus cities Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
Frequent-flyer program TAP Victoria
Airport lounge TAP premium lounge
Alliance Star Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size 24
Destinations 23
Parent company TAP Portugal
Headquarters Lisbon, Portugal
Key people Luiz Plácido Lapa, CEO
Website portugalia-airlines.pt

Portugália, operating under the new brand TAP Express since March 2016[1] (Portugália – Companhia Portuguesa de Transportes Aéreos, S.A. or PGA for short) is a Portuguese regional airline with its head office on the grounds of Lisbon Portela Airport in Lisbon.[2][3] It is a subsidiary of TAP Portugal and operates scheduled international and domestic services from its bases at Lisbon Portela Airport and Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto on behalf of TAP Portugal.[4][5]


Early years[edit]

The airline was established on 25 July 1988 as a joint-stock company, but had to wait two years before it could start services, due to a delay in air transport liberalization. It started operations on 7 July 1990 with a flight from Lisbon to Porto. It also flew from Lisbon to Faro that same day. It started operations with scheduled domestic and international charter flights, as scheduled international flights were not then permitted under Portuguese legislation. International scheduled flights started in June 1992 from Lisbon and Porto.

The company's first airplanes were Fokker 100's and since the late 1990s it has also purchased 8 Embraer 145, becoming the main competitor of state flag carrier TAP Portugal. Operating in the regional market, Portugália focused its operation in domestic routes, as well as on destinations in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Morocco.

The Company’s fleet stabilized in 2000 with 14 aircraft (6 Fokker 100 and 8 Embraer 145) still operating today. Portugália developed its own maintenance services since its earliest days, however it only managed to have its own Hangar and to increase its base maintenance capabilities as of 2005 with the opening of its Hangar at Lisbon Portela Airport. Performing most of its Fokker and Embraer maintenance in house, Portugália managed to significantly improve its results.

Portugália received the title of Best Regional Airline in Europe, in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, the Skytrax Award for Best Cabin Staff in Europe, in 2005 and 2006, and for Best Cabin Staff in Southern Europe, in 2007.[6]

Integration into TAP Portugal Group[edit]

Apron at Lisbon Portela Airport with TAP Portugal's A330-200s behind two Portugália Embraer ERJ-145s

On 6 November 2006, TAP and Portugalia's owners Grupo Espirito Santo, announced TAP's acquisition of 99.81% of Portugalia shares, subject to approval by the regulatory authorities. It had 750 employees (at March 2007). Portugalia was to join the SkyTeam Alliance in 2008,[5] but since it was bought by Star Alliance member TAP Portugal, it's not known if it will join Star Alliance as a regional member.

With the acquisition by TAP Portugal Group it undertakes a new business model. The Company stops working independently and starts working within a Group logic as a supplier of flight capacity by hiring its aircraft to TAP Portugal. Fernando Pinto, president & CEO of TAP Portugal said that the airline's regional subsidiary, Portugália Airlines, is "important to the TAP results as it brings very important passengers from small cities to long distance services.",[7] during European Regional Airlines Association 2012 conference in Porto.

On 21 March 2014, TAP Portugal announced that it would buy two ATR 42-600 for its subsidiary company Portugália replacing the smaller Beechcraft 1900D previously operated by PGA Express.[8][9] However, White Airways now operates both ATRs on behalf of TAP Portugal instead of Portugália.[10]

Rebranding to TAP Express[edit]

On 14 January 2016, TAP Portugal announced that Portugália will be rebranded to TAP Express from 27 March 2016 as part of the restructuring measures within the group.[1] On the same day, TAP Portugal also announced that the entire Portugália fleet consisting of Fokker 100 and Embraer ERJ-145 will be replaced by July 2016 with new Embraer 190 and ATR 72-600 aircraft which will receive a livery similar to that of TAP Portugal.[1]


For list of destinations see: Portugália destinations


Portugália Fokker 100

As of April 2016, the Portugália (TAP Express) fleet includes the following aircraft:

Portugália (TAP Express) Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
ATR 72-600 8 0 70 70 operated by White Airways
Embraer 190 7 2 0 110 110
Fokker 100 6 8 89 97 to be phased out[1]
Total 23 2


  1. ^ a b c d atwonline.com - TAP Portugal creates TAP Express to replace Portugalia 15 Januar 2016
  2. ^ "Contact Information." Portugália. Retrieved on 15 December 2011. "Aeroporto de Lisboa Rua C - Edifício 70 1749-078 Lisboa PORTUGAL"
  3. ^ "2009 Annual Report." TAP Portugal. 88. Retrieved on 15 December 2011. "REGISTERED OFFICE Aeroporto de Lisboa Rua C - Edifício 70 1749-078 LISBOA"
  4. ^ "Presstur - Agência de notícias de viagens e turismo". 
  5. ^ a b "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-10. p. 63. 
  6. ^ http://www.portugalia-airlines.pt/historia.php
  7. ^ "Search Results". 
  8. ^ "Presstur - Agência de notícias de viagens e turismo". 
  9. ^ "TAP - TAP Portugal". http://www.flytap.com.  External link in |work= (help)
  10. ^ http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/aircraft/quick?phrase=TAP+Portugal

External links[edit]

Media related to Portugalia Airlines at Wikimedia Commons